The first Spiritan from the United Kingdom to go on mission overseas was Fr. Henry Parkinson. He was sent to Sierra Leone in West Africa, in 1925.
As numbers grew more followed him; others were sent to the missions in Nigeria and Mauritius, while a few went to East Africa, the Caribbean and beyond.
Today, British Spiritans continues to work in many overseas missions, including:
. South Africa
The Spiritan missionary outreach and ministries have been a seed bed of exciting developments in all these parts of the world.
Some of the specific Spiritan mission engagements include:
. Parish/ pastoral work, some in areas of first evangelisation
· Education: teaching, administration and chaplaincy in all levels of educational institutions
· Youth ministry
· Retreat and Spiritual Animation ministry for various groups
· Justice and Peace initiatives
· Community development and poverty alleviation schemes
· Foundation of new religious Congregations by a few of the members.
Fr. Peter Lafferty, C.S.Sp.
Fr. Peter is part of the large International group of Spiritans working in South Africa. Their missionary focus has been pastoral work in parishes, in farms, in schools and in the hostels for migrant workers.
Fr. Peter, from Scotland, works in the Archdiocese of Durban as University chaplain, University of Durban-Westville.
He is also involved in hands-on initiatives and animation schemes for children in orphanage home and Marriage and Family Life in the diocese.
Fr. Michael Murphy, C.S.Sp.
In 1947, Rome entrusted to the English Province the Prefecture of Makurdi in Northern Nigeria. Ever since most of our Fathers, a total of 97, have worked there. The mission continues until today.
Fr. Michael has continued to further the British Spiritan presence and commitment to the mission in Nigeria.
He is the Vicar-General of Makurdi Diocese, in Nigeria. At over 80, Michael Murphy continues an impressive building programme for the local church.
Fr. Anthony J. Gittins, C.S.Sp.
Fr. Ray French, C.S.Sp.
Fr. Anthony J. Gittins, is an emeritus professor of mission and culture at the Catholic Theological Union, Chicago.
Born in Manchester, England, he has taught and worked in many countries of the world.
Fr. Anthony has read and written many scholarly and inspirational books. He lectures and leads retreats nationally and internationally.
His pastoral outreach includes ministry to the disadvantaged, the marginalised and the homeless at the Genesis House, Chicago. His work with the homeless women are is especially noteworthy.
He shares some the ministry experiences and stories in one of his books, ‘Where There’s Hope, There’s Life: Women’s Stories of Homelessness and Survival.’
Fr. Ray French is the director of Student Pastoral Care, Dusquesne University, Pittsburgh USA.
Fr. Raymond and his team offer the University community a ‘Spiritan Campus Ministry.’
This provides many opportunities for community service, spiritual, and cross-cultural involvement on campus and across the globe.
Fr. James Flynn, C.S.Sp.
Fr James is the secretary of the Union of Circumscription of Europe.
The community in Brussels provides the services of administration and animation for the Spiritan initiative in Europe, called “Circumscription Europe”.
Fr. John McFadden, C.S.Sp.
Fr John serves as the Community Superior of the Generalate Community of the Spiritans, Rome.
This is his second spell at our Generalate. He had served as the General Secretary to the General Council of the Congregation in Rome, 2006 – 2012.
He had earlier in 2000 – 2006 served as the Provincial Superior of the British province.
Fr. John had also worked in Nigeria for many years.